Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in the United States. It usually results in preterm birth, a complication that affects 8 to 10 percent of births.

Risk Factors for Preterm Labor

Previous preterm delivery

Infectious causes

Low socioeconomic status


Non-white race

--Bacterial vaginosis

Maternal age <18 years or


>40 years


Preterm premature rupture

--Acute pyelonephritis

of the membranes

--Cervical/vaginal coloni-

Multiple gestation


Maternal history of one or

Fetal causes

more spontaneous second-

--Intrauterine fetal death

trimester abortions

--Intrauterine growth

Maternal complications


--Maternal behaviors

--Congenital anomalies


Abnormal placentation

--Illicit drug use

Presence of a retained

--Alcohol use

intrauterine device

--Lack of prenatal care

Uterine causes

--Myomata (particularly

submucosal or


--Uterine septum

--Bicornuate uterus

--Cervical incompe-


--Exposure to diethyl-

stilbestrol (DES)

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

Bacterial Vaginosis Facts

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of atypical bacteria in the vagina.

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